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This fall, three bilingual Manitoban projects received $45,500 in funding each by the FDÉFO (Pan-West Francophone Economic Development Fund). This new three-year funding program aims to provide financial support for the economic development of official languages minority communities (OLMCs) through structural projects.
This FDÉFO envelope is managed in Manitoba by the CDEM. (1) Edmond LaBossière, President of the Board of Directors of CDEM says: “CDEM listens to communities and we work closely with our local partners to invest in innovative economic development projects that have a major impact on our communities.”
“During the pandemic, a fund like the FDÉFO is even more important since it supports projects that will have growth-generating effects on our official language minority communities (OLMCs). The economic benefits of these projects will be felt both in the short and long term, resulting in stronger and more prosperous communities.”
“This funding is also in line with the recommendations made by the provincial policy brief of the AMBM (Association of Manitoba Bilingual Municipalities), which includes the CDEM as a member, outlining how important it is to invest in viable and sustainable infrastructure. This funding from FDÉFO recognizes that these projects will act as a catalyst for these communities.”
In fact, tangible economic benefits will be felt from these projects. Justin Johnson, Executive Director of the AMBM, understands the impact: “The AMBM works with municipalities and we know that one of their priorities is economic development. We want to give them the opportunity to be stronger and more vibrant.”
“Projects like the St. Joseph Museum and the St. Georges Museum will ensure the preservation of Francophone and Métis artefacts for years to come. These are very positive projects for the communities, revitalizing and fulfilling, since it will allow communities to tell their story. We are able today to have the courage of our convictions and our cultures.”
“As for the Ste. Agathe Red River Access project, it’s a plan that offers different recreational development perspectives for the community of Ste. Agathe and surrounding areas. This plan will also offer possibilities for tourism development.
“All of these projects are really going to make our communities stronger and more vibrant,” concludes Justin Johnson. “And by moving forward with these plans, we will be able to realize the vision of our communities. This is excellent news for the entire Francophone and bilingual community in Manitoba!”
Since FDÉFO is a three-year program, there will be two more rounds of project selection. Both CDEM and AMBM look forward to the positive outcomes for tourism and social infrastructure in Manitoba’s bilingual communities.
(1) CDEM would like to thank the Government of Canada and Western Economic Diversification for allowing us to administer this funding program which will significantly contribute to the economic development of Francophone communities across Western Canada.